RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The state of Virginia is now set to receive 480,000 COVID-19 vaccines by the end of December, as more specifics for the phase one rollout were released Friday. The number of doses is up significantly since Governor Northam’s announcement earlier in the week that the state would receive 70,000 from Pfizer.
On Friday, the state’s health department announced that Moderna will also send vaccines to Virginia as part of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed plan for distribution.
The initial distribution of the vaccines will now include nearly all members of Virginia’s two top-priority groups: health care personnel and long-term care facility residents. The health department estimates there are up to 500,000 people in these groups throughout the state.
“Vaccine will be provided to Virginians in a way that is fair, ethical, and transparent,” said Virginia State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “We will focus initially on the groups that have been most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 infections and those whose work puts them at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19 infections. Over time, as more vaccine supply becomes available, more Virginians will be able to get vaccinated, and we can look forward to a time when this pandemic will end.”
The first shipment of vaccines is expected to be received from Pfizer in mid-December and will require ultracold storage. All 72,150 initial doses will be distributed to “geographically diverse health care systems with ultracold storage capacity.” Health care personnel that directly care for COVID-19 patients will receive top priority among the groups.
Subsequent weekly shipments are expected to begin after the initial shipment and will be divided among both groups.
Health care personnel are defined as paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Long-term care facility residents are defined as adults who reside in facilities that provide a variety of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently.
For more information about VDH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Response Plan, click here.
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